Oldguard Harrison Ford, 71, is star of Ender's Game

Oldguard Harrison Ford, 71, is star of Ender's Game
The many themes in Ender's Game, starring Harrison Ford (above) and Asa Butterfield, fail to cohere.

If you imagine the actors who play your favourite heroes to be just like them off screen, Harrison Ford will not disappoint.

The star of the hit Star Wars and Indiana Jones films is, in fact, almost as famous for his action-man exploits in real life - whether he is flying a helicopter to rescue stranded hikers, ferrying medical volunteers to Haiti on his plane, or confronting the Indonesian forestry minister for a documentary about illegal logging.

When it comes to meeting the press, though, the downside of this is that Hans Solo and Indiana Jones are not the easiest interviewees.

The 71-year-old is famously prickly with journalists, who quickly realise that the gruffness he brought to those iconic roles was not entirely an act.

There is a modicum of dread, therefore, when Life! and other press arrive at a Los Angeles hotel to talk to the actor about his new movie, the science-fiction thriller Ender's Game, which opened in Singapore on Thursday.

It is compounded by the fact that one of the four reporters at the table together with Life! is a bit of science-fiction geek, and clearly overawed at the prospect of meeting the pilot of the Millennium Falcon.

As it happens, Ford appears to have woken up on the slightly less grumpy side of the bed today and is almost amiable as he talks about his new film, which topped the American box office with US$28 million (S$35 million) in takings when it debuted last weekend. The star walks into the hotel suite in Beverly Hills looking decades younger than his years, his impeccably tailored grey suit and spectacles lending him a gravitas undercut only by the metallic glint of the stud in his left ear.

He starts off the interview in autopilot mode, with a long, rehearsed spiel about the film, which is based on author Orson Scott Card's classic 1985 story about a boy genius tasked with leading mankind's fight against invading aliens.

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